Sylvie laughed with her cousins as they continued to play their game. She was out to celebrate one of them getting married soon while Jarius was out with one of his Uncles. The old dragon had come wanting Jarius to help him with some artifacts he had found. Doing something like that was hard to do with a four year old, especially a little girl as wild as theirs so one of Sylvies brothers had offered to take care of little Xeja. Jarius had almost taken a break from working with his Uncle so Lefan wouldnâ€™t have to watch her but at the last second changed his mind. He felt it would be better to try to finish so it wouldnâ€™t take time from his family any more since his wife was out anyway. Lefan had watched her a few times before so they could have some time alone so they trusted him today.
Suddenly Sylvie had a bad feeling and her cousins could read it on her face â€śSylvie, whats wrong?â€ť
â€śI think I need to go homeâ€ť
â€śis something wrong with Jarius?â€ť
â€śNo, I know itâ€™s not that. I just, I feel like I need to check on Xejaâ€ť
â€śOkay, donâ€™t ignore those mommy senses. I understandâ€ť
â€śI really am sorry thoughâ€ť her cousin waved her off â€śgo if you feel like you need to check on her. Just find us if everything is okayâ€ť They figured it would be. It wasnâ€™t like Sylvie spent a ton of time away from her daughter so they chalked it up to separation anxiety. Sylvie shifted, flying home as fast as she could. She burst through her door, startling Lefan who had been reading one of Jariusâ€™s old books â€śwoah, whats up?â€ť
â€śWhere is Xeja?â€ť
â€śI ran her around outside, I wore her out so sheâ€™s nappingâ€ť
â€śem, in her roomâ€ť her brother said in a confused tone then walked with Sylvie to find Xeja wasnâ€™t in there â€śI swear she was just here. Iâ€™ve been checking on her every time I get to a new chapterâ€ť
â€śXeja?!â€ť Sylvie called, trying not to panic. To her horror she saw the room Jarius worked and stored things he wanted near by but Xeja couldnâ€™t touch was opened â€śLefanâ€¦â€ť
â€śoh my godâ€¦I thought I locked that back I swearâ€ť Sylvie ran into the room, her brother behind her. Once inside Lefan was shocked by how far they could run in it, their home didnâ€™t seem this big. Sylvieâ€™s ears caught her daughter laughing and she ran to it, loseing her brother in all that was stored here. â€śSylvie!â€ť she heard her brother yell but finding Xeja was more important so she rushed on. Her daughter was messing with something on her finger â€śXeja, babyâ€ť Sylvie was tearful and just as she noticed it was a ring it began to glow. She grabbed it, wanting to take it off but next thing she knew she felt twisted, sick to her stomach and then she suddenly wasnâ€™t home anymore.
Sylvie felt like she couldnâ€™t breath so she was gasping as she clutched her little girl to her chest. She wondered if she was just panicking so she concentrated on calming down and taking in her surroundings. It was dark and nothing was around besides trees and the stars above. She wondered if she was even in her world anymore because it certainly shouldnâ€™t be night. Her daughter pushed away so Sylvie let her go, starting to apologize for possibly hurting her when her little girl began vomiting. It made her even more sure they had gone to a completely different world.
Sylvie pulled her daughters hair back, holding it until she finished. She then lifted her again, determined to find somewhere to now clean her up. Xeja began softly crying â€śYouâ€™ll feel better soon Xejaâ€ť
â€śwhere are we mommaâ€ť
â€śI dont knowâ€ť the girl started pulling at the ring but it wouldnâ€™t budge â€śits stuckâ€ť she whined, no longer amused â€śthen dont tug at it for now. Iâ€™m sure some being lives here. Maybe I can find someone who can help us get back to daddy and Uncle Lefanâ€ť
Lefan spun in circles, searched the room, looking under tables and behind shelves, but they were both gone. The sudden silence had been so shocking and now they were gone. He ran his fingers through his hair, starting to panic. What should he do? Jarius, he had to get Jarius.
â€śWell that looks pretty.â€ť The voice startled Jarius and his uncle, causing the former to sigh a roll his eyes.
â€śPaimon, can I help you?â€ť Jarius went back to the circlet he and his uncle were examining.
â€śNo, not really?â€ť
â€śThe prince out?â€ť
â€śWhat does that have to do with anything? Maybe I just missed your angry face.â€ť
Jarius huffed. â€śSure. Well if youâ€™re here, might as well make yourself useful.â€ť He pointed to some of the artifacts they had already examined. â€śWhy donâ€™t you take those and sort them onto the tables and shelves.â€ť
Sylvie didnâ€™t want to walk aimlessly so tried to put her nose to good use to search for water. She couldnâ€™t smell any in any particular direction but she was determined to just keep walking and scenting the air until she found that or a person. Sheâ€™d give anything right now to have wolf in her bloodline. Maybe they wouldnâ€™t be able to find any either but they had a much better chance than her. â€śI can walk momâ€ť her daughter said about a half hour later â€śare you sure?â€ť
â€śyeah, I know you donâ€™t mind butâ€¦if something tries to hurt us or if I really need it later I dont want to have already worn you outâ€ť
â€śdo you promise to tell me if you need a break?â€ť
â€śI promiseâ€ť with that assurance Sylvie set her daughter down â€śstay near me okay. I know nothing about where we areâ€ť
â€śyes mommaâ€ť Xeja took her mothers hand. Sylvie held on tightly, ready to protect her. Sylvie considered turning into a dragon so she could soar over these trees but that could potentially be risky and she certainly didnâ€™t want to draw the wrong attention to her and her four year old.
Mommy are you scared?â€ť
â€śA little, how about you?â€ť Xeja nodded. â€śWell thatâ€™s okay, everyone gets scared.â€ť
â€śAnd uncle Paimon?â€ť
Sylvie actually cracked a smile at Xeja calling Paimon her uncle. Jarius would probably have a heart attack. â€śIâ€™m sure he does.â€ť Sylvie wished she could discern where she was going. In this world of night everything looked the same, even the stars.
Lefan bursting into the room nearly made Paimon drop what he was holding and both Jarius and his uncle twisted around, ready to fight. All three of them became confused when they saw how terrified Lefan was. â€śJariusâ€¦Jarius, my sister andâ€¦and Xejaâ€¦â€ť
Jariusâ€™s heart jumped in his chest as he crossed over to Lefan, grabbing his shoulders. â€śWhat happened?â€ť Paimon was suddenly standing there next to him and Jariusâ€™s uncle had crossed over, a mask of worry on his face.
â€śIâ€™m sorry, itâ€™s all my fault. Xeja got in your storage room andâ€¦and then they were gone, just gone.â€ť
Fear gripped Jariusâ€™s heart and he opened himself up to Sylvie. When he worked and felt there was no reason to worry he blocked the part of himself that could feel what she was feeling. She could so easily take his attention he normally couldnâ€™t get anything done if he could feel her and now she was in danger and it took him however long it took her brother to come for help to be aware of it. There was a reason that room stayed constantly locked, many reasons to be more exact and there was no possible good explanation for his family vanishing in there. He could now feel her fear and worry so he said â€ścome! I need him to show me about where they were when they vanished. I know everything in there. I just need a place to startâ€ť
They still hadnâ€™t found a single thing by the time Xeja needed to rest. Sylvie decided just to stop for now â€śwhy donâ€™t you take a little nap sweetieâ€ť
â€śI donâ€™t know if I canâ€ť
â€śIâ€™ll tell you a story like I do at home for bed timeâ€ť
â€śBut daddy isnâ€™t here to sing to me afterâ€ť
â€śIâ€™ll just do the singing tooâ€ť Xejaâ€™s lower lip trembled â€śBabyâ€ť Sylvie said in concern. â€śI just miss dadâ€ť
â€śweâ€™ll see your father again soon. I wont rest until weâ€™re back with him and I bet you anything heâ€™s already looking for us. I still feel him and I can tell heâ€™s worried, he knows we are missing. Heâ€™s almost as old as time itself and his Uncle is even older. Between them and my side of the family they are going to figure out where we areâ€ť Sylvie began to rub her daughters face and stroke her hair to comfort her. â€śIâ€™ll tell a really happy story okay?â€ť
â€śOkayâ€ť Sylvie retold one of the happiest fairytails she knew and the poor thing was so exhausted from fear and the travel here she was out before Sylvie could even sing. Sylvie didnâ€™t rest there long before carefully lifting her daughter and walking on. She didnâ€™t think it was wise to rest any longer than she absolutely needed since she didnâ€™t know at all where she was.
It was almost an hour later when she finally found a lake â€śthank godâ€ť she whispered before setting her daughter down and testing the water to make sure it was safe for Xeja. Now that she had found water and her daughter was resting anyway Sylvie took another chance to lay down and regather strength for anything that may occur. Jarius had been completely spoiling her over the years so she wasnâ€™t as used to just walking constantly like this.
â€śMom?â€ť her daughters voice woke her some time later â€śyeah baby?â€ť
â€śyou found waterâ€ť
â€śsee, Iâ€™ll make sure we have everything we need until I figure out how to get homeâ€ť
â€ścan I go wash in it please?â€ť
â€śrun right in, give me your clothes and Iâ€™ll clean themâ€ť Xeja stripped down then ran into the water while Sylvie opened her senses up to any perverts or potential dangerous animals. Once their clothes and Xeja were clean they were off again, Sylvie now keeping her nose out for potential food. She could tell her little one was hungry but besides this lake there still didnâ€™t seem to be anything. It seemed impossible that a place could truly just be trees.
It was just as those thoughts were passing through her head a womans voice caught her ears but it was obviously another language. Sylvie pulled her daughter behind her protectively and said â€śIâ€™m sorry, I donâ€™t understandâ€ť saying that may have been completely pointless but she felt it would be better than being silent or trying to run. They had been hoping to find someone after all. The woman tilted her head, seeming to think hard. Her voice came out unsure, like it took great effort but what came out this time was English â€śyouâ€¦lost? You smell ofâ€¦elsewhereâ€ť
Relief rushed through Sylvie for many reasons. Though it would be hard to talk she could in fact talk to this woman and the fact the woman was even trying made her feel more comfortable. A person trying to harm them likely wouldnâ€™t care if they understood what they were saying. That may or may not be true but it was comforting logic â€śIâ€™m very lost, I came to this world by mistake. I want to go home but I donâ€™t know howâ€ť Xejas stomach loudly growled which had the little girl blushing, especially when it made the woman notice her. She motioned for them to come so Sylvie picked up her daughter and hoped she wasnâ€™t making a huge mistake by following this woman. She might never get home if she didnâ€™t put her trust in anyone here.
The woman lead them only a short ways off from where they had been headed before she stopped and held her hand in front of her, palm facing the ground. Sylvie held her daughter tighter again, wishing they could communicate more easily. Sylvie guessed the reason they had walked in complete silence was due to the fact english seemed to be hard for her to speak and Sylvie couldnâ€™t even begin to try hers. She had learned so many from her husband but of course she didnâ€™t know the one she needed now.
When they managed to get home she was going to have Jarius teach her more. A door appeared in the grass. The woman motioned for them to follow again as she opened it. Sylvie had expected to drop into a home but it was almost as if the world tilted so they could walk right in. It was honestly a little trippy and had Sylvie confused â€śMyâ€¦homeâ€ť The strange woman strained again. Sylvie wondered if the difficulty was from how different her home language had sounded. Her mouth and tongue were probably nowhere near used to the movements it took to speak to her.
â€śAre we safe?â€ť Sylvie asked.
The woman nodded and gestured toward a pile of animal hides. Sylvie sat down with Xeja in her lap, finding the makeshift couch incredibly comfortable. The woman moved off and Sylvie heard things being moved around. â€śHunâ€¦hungry?â€ť The woman asked.
â€śYes, thank you.â€ť She didnâ€™t know if it would be rude to say no and the woman had been so kind, she didnâ€™t want to hurt her feelings.
The sound of sizzling and the smell of meat soon filled the silence and after a few minutes, the woman came back with some meat and steamed vegetables on a large plate. She sat down across from Sylvie and Xeja and put the plate between them. She gestured to it, then her mouth, then to all three of them. â€śShare?â€ť Sylvie asked and the woman nodded. â€śThank you so much.â€ť
Jarius felt almost frantic, he couldnâ€™t figure out what his daughter could have possibly gotten into. So much had been knocked over between Xeja getting in here and Sylvie running around that things were mixed up â€śJarius, you need to breathâ€ť his Uncle Saeran said seriously â€śweâ€™ve been in this room for hours, hoursâ€ť
â€śyes we have but you need to keep a clear head. You need to think as your daughter does. Think of what she likes, colors, toys, everything and that will help you decide what is missingâ€ť as Saeran finished speaking Paimon interjected â€śItâ€™s honestly a little surprising you still have this habit. I guess dragons hoarding is a thing that dies hardâ€ť
â€śitâ€™sâ€¦itâ€™s my faultâ€¦Jarius having all this hasnâ€™t been a problem until I wanted a book from hereâ€¦â€ť Lefan said sadly, still spending most his time looking at the floor. Jarius sighed â€śPaimons a pain in my ass Lefan but what heâ€™s getting at is right. I shouldnâ€™t have something that could harm my family near our home, especially not while Xeja or any other children we may have are here. Sylvie is an intelligent woman who will listen when I tell her about things but a child canâ€™t be expected to always do the sameâ€¦you are not the only one responsible Lefan.â€ť
â€śever noble, Iâ€™ve never seen you so distressed. Othersâ€ť
â€śPaimon not right nowâ€ť Jarius cut off the speech before it got away from Paimon. He needed his family back and he feared every moment they spent gone was a moment he could lose them forever. Paimon also took Saerans advice and started thinking â€śJarius, sheâ€™s been wearing rings a lot lately.â€ť Paimon suddenly said and Jariusâ€™s normally pale skin actually turned whiter. â€śNoâ€¦â€ť he walked over the area again, even looking inside things â€śyou know what Xeja did donâ€™t you Jarius? Just tell us and stop looking for whatever youâ€™re looking for. We need to help your familyâ€ť
Jarius held a hand over his mouth, looking as if he might cry then shook his head hard â€śtheyâ€™re not there, theyâ€™re not there. Iâ€™ll find it and itâ€™ll be something elseâ€ť
â€śJarius, you know, I know how much your family means to you and thats why you need to admit what you already knowâ€ť
â€śdo you remember the book I wrote about Casisâ€ť
â€śThe cannibalsâ€¦â€ť Saeran said knowingly and Lefanâ€™s horrified voice asked â€śwhat?â€ť Jarius cried â€śtheyâ€™re in a world of cannibals. Its so bad they actually hide from one another there. Their homes are all cleverly put into the ground and mountains and such. They seem normal when you meet themâ€¦she might follow one homeâ€¦â€ť
â€śwhy on earth would a portal to that be here Jariusâ€ť Saeran reprimanded â€śwhen I first met Sylvie I had gone on another trip there for the fruit. They have the most amazing fruit and I gave her some. She loved it â€¦ I wanted her to like me. I kept making trips back so I could give her some and I just never took it out of hereâ€¦I forgot it was in here until Paimon mentioned ringsâ€ť
â€śHowâ€™re we going to get there?â€ť
â€śI dont know, thats the only portal I know ofâ€ť
After they ate the kind stranger put a hand on her chest â€śGazitâ€ť Sylvie felt that was her name so she touched her daughters head â€śXejaâ€ť then touched her own chest â€śSylvieâ€ť
â€śYou stay here in my homeâ€ť
â€śdo you know how to get me back where Iâ€™m from?â€ť Gazit shook her head and Sylvie slightly frowned â€śa little bit then, I really need to get home as soon as I canâ€ť After a few hours passed with little talking or indication this kind woman could be any more help Sylvie said â€śwe should go, I need to find my way homeâ€ť
â€śwhy?â€ť The woman just stared at her and Sylvie felt shitty about it after she had been so kind but it creeped her out. She hoped maybe she just didnâ€™t know how to explain and wasnâ€™t trying to be creepy. â€śdo you have maybe a friend I could meet? Maybe they can helpâ€ť still nothing and it just made Sylvie want to leave worse. The next time Gazit went to the bathroom Sylvie picked up her daughter and walked back to the door or where the door should have been because it was gone. Dread filled her but she didnâ€™t want to panic Xeja so she kept walking, acting like she was just toting her around until Gazit came back out. â€śits rest timeâ€ť she informed them then motioned to her couch â€śOkay, thank youâ€ť
Sylvies heart was pounding but she worried if she yelled, asked about the door or did anything that let Gazit know she was panicking she might make the situation worse. She also still didnâ€™t want her four year old to know there was any reason to be scared. Sylvie just settled down with her daughter and Gazit left them, closing herself in her bedroom. Sylvie had intended to stay awake and figure something out but it was almost if something was dragging her eyelids closed and her mind to rest. She fought the urge, she had to get out but next thing she knew Gazit was kneeling beside the couch, her face inches from Sylvies and it took every ounce of self control not to jump.
Once again she prayed this was a misunderstanding since it was hard to commuincate and they were from different worlds. For all she knew it was normal for their doors to vanish, maybe it wasnâ€™t so weird to stare creepily here and maybe personal space wasnâ€™t a thing here either. These among other things Sylvie kept telling herself for comfort as they sat at Gazitâ€™s table. She had already made breakfast and was just putting in onto plates. â€śwhy lap?â€ť Gazit asked since Sylvie was holding Xeja â€śsheâ€™s homesick for her dad. Iâ€™m trying to comfort herâ€ť It wasnâ€™t a complete lie, Sylvie could see how sad her daughter was.
â€śIâ€™ll be okay mommy, thank youâ€ť Xeja got out of her lap and sat on the chair next to her. Sylvie wanted her little girl as close as possible but at least she was still closer to her than their host. Sylvie went to tie up her hair with a band she had in her pocket when she noticed one strand was much shorter than the others suddenly. Maybe she shouldnâ€™t have but her eyes went to Gazit, who the hell else woudl have cut off some of her hair. Gazit sipped from her cup, her eyes once again locked on Sylvie which now Sylvie could only see as predatory due to how scared she was. There was no door any longer, Gazit was insistent they stayed and she knew she wasnâ€™t crazy, someone had cut off some of her hair last night.
Keeping her voice as calm as possible Sylvie said â€śGazit, we really need to leave after this meal.â€ť Gazit was silent and next time her mother spoke Xeja heard the fear in her voice”Please, I dont want to stay any more”
â€śMommy, is everything okay?â€ť Xeja asked. Gazit began eating again and that was all this panicked mother could take. Gazitâ€™s focus seemed to be on her but if this woman was crazy she was capable of anything. Sylvie shifted into a dragon in the small home and it obviously scared the hell out of Gazit who was pale, trembling as she looked up at the crampt dragon that had destroyed multiple things in the dining room just by shifting. â€śweâ€™re leaving if I have to eat you to do itâ€ť Sylvie threatened and suddenly, there was the door again. Xeja shifted too and they both left, flying away as fast as they could.
Jarius had Paimon, Saeran, and Lefan help him collect all of his books from storage and take them over to one of the tables. Maybe, just maybe he could find something in them. â€śPaimon, take Lefan and gather all of the books from the library on other worlds and spells for making gateways.â€ť
â€śYes sir.â€ť Paimon grabbed the dejected Lefan by his arm and pulled him out of the room. Jarius was surprised Paimon was being so helpful. He always seemed to revel in Jariusâ€™s loss of control, but now he was working hard to help. He didnâ€™t know what to make of it, but he wasnâ€™t going to question it to much right now.
â€śJarius, you must lock up that ring once you have it back.â€ť Saeran said as he started going through books.
â€śI donâ€™t even want it in the house.â€ť
â€śThen Iâ€™ll take it.â€ť
â€śI think that would be for the best. Iâ€™m such an idiot, an irresponsible idiot. I should know better at my age.â€ť
â€śWe all make mistakes, Jarius.â€ť
â€śNot like this, not with Sylvie and Xeja.â€ť
â€śSylvie has a good head on her shoulders Jarius. Youâ€™ll see them again so stay calm. You picked an amazing mate and your daughter, I see so much promise in her futureâ€ť
Sylvie and Xeja flew until Xejas little wings could carry her no further. Sylvie began to descend right away and was grateful that where ever they were now seemed nice. They shifted back into humans bodies and Xeja hugged her mother â€śMom, what happened?â€ť
â€śthere was something off about her baby. I realized it the night before but I didnâ€™t want to scare youâ€ť
â€śwhat are we going to do now?â€ť
â€śIâ€™m going to gather firewood, make you a nice fire and weâ€™re going to relax. You should have said something sooner baby. You look so exhausted. After the fire is made I want you just to lay downâ€ť
â€śokay mommyâ€ť Sylvie shifted back into a dragon and pushed over a tree to make wood small enough for their fire. Once it was burning Sylvie was in her human body again and patted her lap so Xeja would lay her head down. Sylvie hoped her following words would bring her daughter any comfort â€śthere has to be some sort of city sweetheart. Once youâ€™re feeling rested I will find itâ€ť
â€śwhat if itâ€™s underground, Gazitâ€™s home was undergroundâ€ť
â€śwhile you sleep Iâ€™m going to be sitting here thinking about all the ways we could possibly handle this. Donâ€™t stress okay baby, trust your mommy and close those beautiful brown eyesâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m sorryâ€ť She almost couldnt bare to hear her daughter apologize. A four year old breaking a rule shouldnâ€™t have these type of consequences. â€śdonâ€™t you be sorry about anything. Iâ€™m not madâ€ť Sylvies eyes were damp but she was still trying not to cry. She knew she needed to stay strong and she didnâ€™t want to waste her energy crying. â€śI promise to always be good when we get back to daddyâ€ť
â€śshhh sweetheartâ€ť Sylvie began lightly rubbing her daughters face and arms, grateful when she finally went to sleep so she wouldnâ€™t fall apart.
â€śYou said Casis correct?â€ť Paimon asked.
â€śYes, have you found something?â€ť Jarius moved to look over Paimonâ€™s shoulder.
â€śIt looks like the information is old, but old is probably good.â€ť He tapped the part of the page he had been reading. â€śIt looks like opening it takes a few things, namely the blood of the one opening it, but itâ€™s not impossible.â€ť
â€śI wish I could just open it damn it.â€ť
Paimon shrugged. â€śSo weâ€™ll each take a part of the list and gather what we need. You might have some of it around here. Just know, Iâ€™m definitely coming with you, wouldnâ€™t want you getting eaten before you can rescue the girls.â€ť
â€śAlright, weâ€™ll split up and try to gather everything, but hurry, I need to get to them.â€ť
As Sylvie sat there she noticed the ring again on her daughters finger. It could obviously change in size since it still didntâ€™ come off when Xeja shifted into a dragon. Sylvie rubbed the hand that wore it, wishing she knew how to work this ring. She was half afraid if she tried to do something with it, without knowledge of how it worked they could end up further down the rabbit hole in a whole new place. They could end up even further from home with less hope of returning to her husband. Sylvie sighed, her eyes now going to the fire as she asked nobody in particular â€śwhat do I doâ€ť Things remained peaceful until Xeja woke.
â€śyou ready? I can carry you if you want to wake up more before walkingâ€ť
â€śNo, I can walk mommaâ€ť
â€śOkay sweetheart, donâ€™t let yourself get that tired again. I still donâ€™t know where to begin so truly, we can rest all you needâ€ť Xeja nodded and Sylvie put out the fire before taking her daughters hand and walking on in the direction she had already determined theyâ€™d try. They found some fruit along the way and it clicked with Sylvie, she remembered eating this a lot with Jarius when they first met. She wondered what besides this he got up to in a place as odd as this one.
They couldnâ€™t have gone another full hour before Xeja gasped â€śbaby whatâ€ť she started to ask when she saw a dart in her daughters neck and heard another coming for her. Sylvie shifted after jerking it out of her daughter , hoping her scales would be too strong for the darts to get through. She heard deranged cackling â€śa dragon, I can deal with youâ€ť the voice was creepy and even more startling her little girl passed out.
Sylvie roared at the top of her lungs, beyond pissed at this point. The cackling started again and in her rage she started spreading fire indiscriminately. Normally sheâ€™d care about possibly hurting things that had done nothing to her but she was scared, she was exhausted, she was hungry, and she wasnâ€™t about to let some crazy make her feel trapped again. The fire caught quickly and Sylvie took Xeja in one of her claws for safety.
Sylvie flew straight up, glad when nothing else happened. I can deal with you she scoffed as she remembered his words. He was going to be dealing with the grim reaper if he came near her child again. It didnâ€™t hit her until she had flown a fairly good distance the being had used English easily. Maybe some people here did speak her language. Sylvieâ€™s current plan was to fly as long as possible so that hopefully her daughter would stay out of harms way until she woke up.
Jarius felt his wifes fury and it terrified him as to what may have caused it. She was far from an angry person so he worried what might be happening to his daughter. Suddenly it was as if she slammed into an invisible wall. It disoriented her and she slightly plummeted before lifting herself back up. â€śwhat?â€ť she was confused, why couldnâ€™t she fly further. She was too scared to land with her daughter still recovering from whatever drugs were in the dart so she tried to fly in another direction but to her horror she hit another wall, she was being boxed in somehow.
She roared as she hovered there. â€śI will burn this entire world if you donâ€™t let us go.â€ť It was a bluff, but she didnâ€™t want anything else to happen to Xeja. The laughter seemed to be coming from all around her and her heart danced fearfully in her chest.
â€śItâ€™s only a matter of time, dragon.â€ť The voice said. â€śArenâ€™t you tired? I wonder how long your wings will carry you.â€ť
â€śHow much more do we have?â€ť Jarius asked as he looked down at the things everyone had gathered.
â€śLefan is off gathering a couple of hard to get plants and your friend went off to find this amulet.â€ť Saeran answered.
â€śSheâ€™s scared uncle, angry, something bad is happening and I need to get to them.â€ť
â€śI know, but you must stay calm, keep a clear head.â€ť
â€śIf I lost them I would go mad. Even Paimon understands.â€ť
â€śTalking about me behind my back?â€ť Paimon asked as he stepped in and Jarius shot him a glare. â€śI got it.â€ť He held up the amulet.
â€śHow did youâ€¦you know what it doesnâ€™t matter, thank you.
Sylvieâ€™s wings began to ache, she knew they might give out and there was obviously some sort of trap waiting below. She figured it was best to rush down and try to escape than to simply let herself get exhausted and fall right into whatevers clutches. She took a deep, mind clearing breath then said calmly to her unconscious daughter â€śI love you so much Xejaâ€ť before flying down. She flew straight as soon as she was able and just as she went straight a large, metal contraption tried to clamp down on her foot, almost taking off one of her toes but she had managed to evade it. The wound stung and blood poured down onto the earth but she still kept forward until something wrapped around her neck, instantly tightening so that she could barely breath. She tried to roar in fury again but it was too tight, having no give whatsoever.
She wrapped herself tightly around Xeja as she hit the ground, taking trees down with her massive body and kicking up dirt. Her vision swam, her body aching all over, her blood soaking into the ground. She couldnâ€™t breathe, but she refused to shift back to her human form. She knew if she did, they would take Xeja. Her mind was a whirlwind of emotion and Jarius could feel everyone, could feel the pain reverberating through her and he growled, wanting to kill whoever had dared touch her.
â€śIâ€™m back, Iâ€™m sorry, there wereâ€¦complications.â€ť Lefan said as he came running in, one hand holding a bag, the other clutching his shoulder. He was scraped and bruised pretty bad, but he had managed to get the plants they needed.
â€śWhat happened?â€ť Paimon asked.
â€śJustâ€¦it doesnâ€™t matter.â€ť Paimon opened his mouth to argue and Lefan interrupted, â€śPellegrinoâ€™s back, heâ€™s probably heading this way.â€ť Paimonâ€™s eyes went from concerned to dancing with delight in an instant, something that he quickly shoved down.
Lefan handed Jarius the bag. â€śAre you sure youâ€™re alright?â€ť Jarius asked.
If Sylvie wasnâ€™t obviously getting hurt he would have insisted to check his wound but Lefan felt he was fine and they needed to hurry to Sylvie. By the time Pellegrino got there they were almost done â€śJust in timeâ€ť Paimon said â€śI had to finish taking care of the thing that attacked Lefan. It was a persistent son of a bitch. Iâ€™m happy I made itâ€ť Lefan looked awkwardly at the floor, hating he could seem to do nothing recently but cause trouble. What was he going to do if his carelessness cost his sister her life? He couldnâ€™t imagine telling their parents or their other siblings or even the rest of the family.
As Sylvieâ€™s vision began to get hazy she told herself over and over in her mind â€śdonâ€™t let goâ€ť hoping sheer will would keep her claws clutching her daughter when she was no longer conscious. Xeja regained consciousness as frustrated men tried to get to her â€śwhat the fuck! The damned mother passed out!â€ť Xeja gasped, pushing herself as far away from them as he confined space allowed. They seemed to be struggling to get her mothers claws open â€śmommyâ€ť
â€śdont whine, I cant stand whining children and Iâ€™m already frustrated kidâ€ť
Though Jarius was impatient he and his uncle made sure everything was placed perfectly and that the plants they had all collected were perfectly measured and mixed. He put the amulet around his neck and sat down in front of the circle of items. The bowl was placed in the center, the book open in front of him. â€śMake sure you get enough in there to soak the ground up plants.â€ť His uncle said as he handed him the dagger.
â€śI know.â€ť He sliced his palm open and held it over the bowl, his eyes moving over the spell, lips speaking the words clearly as he called the doorway that would take him to his wife and child.
Xeja screamed when they managed to get one of her motherâ€™s claws pulled back far enough that they could reach an arm in. She pressed herself further back, but one managed to snag her clothes. She bit whoever it was and they yelled as they released her. â€śYou little bitch!â€ť Another arm reached in and she moved away from it, crying for her mother and father.
She closed her eyes, still pushing herself back as hard as she could when suddenly she heard her father. Xejas eyes snapped open and she cried harder at the sight of not only her dad but her Uncles and Pellegrino. She knew they were safe now so she crawled out of her mothers claws and began to try to wake her â€śmommyâ€ť Xeja grabbed the lasso around her mothers neck and tried to break it â€śmommyâ€ť she whined. Paimon suddenly appeared on top of Sylvie, pulling out some sort of dagger and easily breaking the enchanted rope. Xeja noticed they had the men that were trying to hurt her unconscious on the ground so they were all coming over to help Sylvie.
Lefan lifted Xeja into his arms â€śthey have her okay, your mom is going to be alrightâ€ť
â€śwe need to get this bleeding stopped firstâ€ť Saeran said. They did their best with her toe, they could get her proper help back at home. â€śsheâ€™s not awake yetâ€ť Xeja whined and Lefan held her a little tighter. They took Sylvie home, they didnâ€™t know how much blood she had lost so far and Jarius didnâ€™t care where they landed at home. They could buy new things, he couldnâ€™t get another Sylvie. By the time Sylvie woke days had passed and her little girl, much to her relief was the first to greet her. She had been refusing to leave her mother so Jarius was currently gone getting them something to eat. â€śOh my babyâ€ť
â€śweâ€™re home momâ€ť Sylvie noticed she was in human form again â€śthey were able to make you shift back and they got the ring off, seeâ€ť Xeja wiped tears away then showed her mom her hand â€śOh thatâ€™s such wonderful news honeyâ€ť
â€śIâ€™m sorry mommy.â€ť
â€śOh baby, itâ€™s okay.â€ť She hugged her daughter. â€śWhereâ€™s uncle Lefan?â€ť
Sylvie knew her brother had to be beating himself over what had happened and was probably ashamed. She wanted to see him and tell him it was alright, that she wasnâ€™t mad. â€śWe should go see him, let him know weâ€™re okay.â€ť
â€śYou need to stay in bed, my love.â€ť Jarius said as he stepped into their room. â€śYouâ€™re too weak to go wandering around. Iâ€™ll bring him here.â€ť
â€śJarius.â€ť She could see and feel he was exhausted and scared and once Xeja had her food, she held out her arms. He said his own plate down, forgetting his food and just gathering her into his embrace. He buried his face in her hair and his relief and fear washed over her, his tears dripping onto her shoulder.
â€śI love you Jariusâ€¦we both missed youâ€ť Sylvie said softly, trying to bring him comfort. It only seemed to make him struggle more to keep tears at bay. â€śIâ€™ve already started clearing that roomâ€¦Iâ€™m so sorry I was soâ€¦something like that should have never been in there. I am so so sorry, I feel all your misery in that world is my faultâ€ť He wanted to apologize a million times over. â€śI was never mad at you or my brother. Neither of you would ever lead us to harm on purpose. I hope you werenâ€™t mean to himâ€ť Jarius shook his head â€śas I said, I feel itâ€™s more my fault than anybody elses. I told him as much but heâ€™s your brother, he loves you and little Xeja immensely. Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t scold him because heâ€™s punishing himself enough as it isâ€ť
â€śas it seems you are Jarius. However, Iâ€™m happy to hear youâ€™re getting rid of the dangerous thingsâ€ť
â€śitâ€™s irresponsible until Xeja is grown. Iâ€¦I canâ€™t even think of what I was thinkingâ€¦a locked door or not she was bound to get in there unattendedâ€ť He held her a little tighter then made himself let go â€śare you hungry? I was going to eat light anyway so take my plate if you are. Iâ€™ll grab something else while I go get your brother for youâ€ť
â€śare you sureâ€ť with damp eyes he nodded. Jarius handed Sylvie his food, kissed her forehead then made himself leave again. He had been dyeing to talk to and hold her while she was actually conscious but she wanted to see her brother. Now, of all times, he would not be selfish. He at least knew at this point she wasnâ€™t angry at him and that in itself lifted the weight of worlds off his shoulders. As soon as Lefan came to the door Jarius said â€śsheâ€™s awake and wants to see youâ€ť
â€śsheâ€™s not mad, at me or youâ€ť Lefan gave a sad sigh â€śstill herself I guessâ€¦shes never held a grudgeâ€¦Iâ€™ll get my shoesâ€ť Lefan was ready in a few moments then the two of them headed back to the waiting Sylvie.
Sylvie smiled when Lefan came in and her brother looked about ready to cry. â€śCome here, silly.â€ť
He sat down on the bed and he really did start crying when she and Xeja hugged him. â€śIâ€¦Iâ€™m so sorryâ€¦I should haveâ€¦â€ť
â€śHush now, weâ€™re both fine and Iâ€™m not mad.â€ť
â€śI should have known better.â€ť Jarius said. â€śI filled my home with dangerous things and paid for it.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s really okay uncle Lefan.â€ť Xeja said.
Once Lefan was able to calm down, he sat and chatted with them. He was relieved she was still her old self, that what had happened hadnâ€™t traumatized her or Xeja and if it had, they werenâ€™t showing it. He stayed until he noticed his sister getting exhausted and promised her he would stop worrying so much. â€śYou should get some more rest, baby, both of you.â€ť Jarius said as he sat down on their bed and gave Sylvie a kiss.
â€śYou need it, I can feel it. Rest, okay? Iâ€™ll stay here with you two.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll go to my bed. I missed my bed and my stuffed animalsâ€ť Now Sylvie felt a little emotional. Her mind had definitely gone to what all that may have done to her daughter but she was still her bright, beautiful little girl â€śyouâ€™re welcome back in here if you need it honey.â€ť she gave Jarius a gentle nudge â€śgo tuck her in, she missed you singing to her. I promise to lay downâ€ť Jarius had to kiss her again before he stood and lifted his daughter. Sylvie sighed, looking around her bedroom. They were home, she was really and truly home. Paimon suddenly appeared and she smiled â€śPaimonâ€ť
â€śYou doing okay?â€ť
â€śYeah, just tiredâ€ť
â€śHowâ€™s my little niece?â€ť Sylvie weakly giggled â€śyou know she called you her Uncle while we were thereâ€ť He smiled, it seemed to bring him immense joy â€śgood, I love that little girl and despite what you may think I do have a heart in hereâ€ť
â€śI know you doâ€ť
â€śIâ€™ll let you restâ€ť
â€śtalking to Lefan I learned you helpedâ€ť He looked like saying this made him uncomfortable â€śI feel like I have a familyâ€¦I wasnâ€™t about to have that family broken upâ€ť Sylvies eyes grew even heavier as she smiled again, he could see it so he vanished, especially since he felt awkward anyway. Awkward was far from a feeling he was used to but family was far from something he was used to. Sylvie laid down, falling asleep before her husband returned. Jarius was quiet when he returned to their room,still worried over her.
He continued on clearing out the room he worked in then refilling it with treasures that were safe over the next months. He could have lost his beautiful mate and his wonderful little girl and he wasnâ€™t sure heâ€™d ever get over the shame of being so blind and selfish, no matter how forgiving Sylvie and Xeja was. They meant to much to him to forgive himself too quickly and no amount of time would have him forget the lesson he learned.
~ The End